'Karen' continues to gain strength

Posted at 09/12/12 6:00 PM

 MANILA, Philippines – Tropical storm “Karen” continues to gain strength as it moves over water in a northwest direction, the state weather bureau said on Wednesday.

PAGASA said the storm was packing winds of 95 kilometers per hour (kph) near the center and gustiness of up to 120 kph.

At 4 p.m., PAGASA said the storm was spotted 640 kilometers (km) east of Virac, Catanduanes and was moving at a speed of 15 kph.

The storm was expected to dump moderate to heavy rains within its 550 km-diameter.

The storm was also expected to cause rains due to its effect on the southwest monsoon.

However, PAGASA said the storm is not expected to make landfall and may exit the Philippine Area of Responsibility either Saturday night or Sunday morning.

No storm warning signals have been raised so far.

In its latest bulletin, the weather bureau predicts isolated rains or thunderstorms over Metro Manila. Moderate southwest winds are also expected.

Meanwhile, occasional moderate to heavy rains will be experienced in the Ilocos region, Mindoro and western Visayas, which PAGASA said may trigger flashfloods and landslides.

The rest of southern Luzon, and the Visayas and Mindanao will be cloudy with scattered light to moderate rains.

The rest of Luzon, on the other hand, will have partly cloudy with isolated rains or thunderstorms at night.